Phil Jackson may have won five of his 11 NBA championships as Kobe Bryant's head coach, but he's made it very clear over the years that trying to get Bryant to play by his rules was never an easy task.
Jackson has literally written books detailing some of the issues in the now-mended relationship, but he isn't afraid to revisit some of the more uncomfortable moments any time he's asked.
As part of a profile that will appear on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday, Jackson recalls a time where Bryant "went off the edge" during a game where Michael Jordan himself was in the building to watch.
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PHIL JACKSON: "I always remember a game in which-- Michael Jordan was-- in retirement. And he came to the game. I think Kobe had, like, 40 points the first half. And I turned to the coaches and I said, 'Kobe knows Michael's in the stands. He's just showin' him who he is.'"
ANDREA KREMER: "You literally said this to your coaches?"
PHIL JACKSON: "Yeah. Yeah."
ANDREA KREMER: "And were you right?"
PHIL JACKSON: "Yeah, I was right. He wanted to put on a show for Michael. That part irritated me about Kobe, is that, you know, this is about a game that you have to respect. But sometimes he went off the edge. And this is one of his younger type things where he went off the edge and said, 'Here, you wanna look at this? See how good I am?'"
The only surprising part of this tale is that Jackson was somehow annoyed by Bryant's most recent display of greatness. After all, the last time Kobe faced Jordan on the court, he lit him up for 55 points.
Catch the complete profile on Bryant Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on HBO.